As a winter protocol I start a batch of master tonic as a winter flu prevention that will keep the immune system fighting fit.  There is a bit of grating/processing but after your initial brew, you can make two or three more batches from the solid ingredients. After that, you can dehydrate all the vegetable matter.

Just arrange to be out of the house or at least wear goggles around your dehydrator, as that horseradish still burns! Once it’s dried you can grind it into a powder and use it as a seasoning for various meals, bearing in mind that it’s pretty potent. Alternatively, you can purée all the ingredients to make an interesting marinade.

The ingredients in the master tonic have been chosen for the medicinal qualities they offer.

  • Kombucha vinegar/ACV – probiotic, blood sugar balance

  • Ginger – reduces nausea, eases digestion and fights colds and chills
  • Horseradish – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, sinus clearing, coughs
  • Onion – colds, bronchitis, antihistamine, high in vitamin C
  • Garlic – immunity, cardiovascular health, antibacterial
  • Jalapeño pepper – sinusitis, combats infection, breaks up mucous

     • Scotch bonnet chilli – circulation, breaks up mucous and fever relief

      • Turmeric – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory



To make a batch:

600ml kombucha vinegar OR unpasteurised Apple Cider vinegar (ACV)

25g fresh ginger, peeled and grated

25g grated fresh horseradish (be warned that this can be much stronger than onions when grating!)

1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic bulb, cloves diced
4 jalapeño pepper, diced
4 scotch bonnet chillies, diced

Optional extras:

1 lemon, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary, left whole

1 tbsp ground turmeric or 50g grated fresh turmeric

1 Place all the ingredients in a clean 1-litre jar and pour in the kombucha vinegar to cover. Leave 2.5cm of headspace at the top of the jar. Close the lid and allow to infuse for at least two weeks, but steeping it for longer won’t make it any stronger. Strain the liquid into a fresh clean jar – this is your master tonic. (See the note above for ideas on how to reuse the solid ingredients.) Drink a tablespoon or more each morning or when you feel the sniffles coming on.